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Christopher Laursen

Outside Expert
To contact Christopher Laursen, please email Jake George at or call +1.617.864.7900

Mr. Laursen is an expert in financial products and institutions, markets, regulation, and risk management.

He has more than 25 years of financial industry experience, which includes over 17 years as a Federal regulator, where he served as a policy-maker, supervisor, and senior examiner.

Mr. Laursen has provided expert testimony and analysis as well as consulting services for numerous public and private clients. He has testified in disputes involving investment and trading strategies, mortgage-backed securities, municipal finance, structured notes, financial institution accounting, and insider trading. He has consulted for the Department of Justice, the State Insurance Commissioner of Connecticut, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Mr. Laursen previously served as the Federal Reserve Board’s Manager of Risk Policy and Guidance, where he wrote and interpreted financial regulations and guidance. In 2009, he authored new Federal Reserve guidance requiring large financial institutions to enhance trading book stress testing and value-at-risk modeling. He also worked closely with other U.S. and international financial regulators to craft new rules, including as a member of the Basel Committee’s Trading Book Group.

During the financial crisis, Mr. Laursen reported directly to Chairman Bernanke as well as other Governors and Reserve Bank Presidents on various risk, valuation, and regulatory issues. He led reviews of problem institutions and assisted in the development of special FRB actions to reduce market turmoil and economic damage.

Mr. Laursen has an MBA with a concentration in finance from the Wharton School and holds the Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional designation from FINRA.

Representative Engagements
Foreign Exchange Trading Fraud Investigation
Led the post-mortem review of a $700 million foreign exchange trading fraud. Included a detailed evaluation of real and fictitious trades, firm operational controls, management reporting, audit and compliance. Also reviewed the trading records and communications of counterparty firms and interviewed individual traders to determine potential collusion.
CDO Valuation and Risk Modeling
During Fall 2007, worked with a top U.S. financial institution to implement appropriate valuations, risk modeling processes, and regulatory capital charges for a significant book of Super-Senior CDO positions held in the institution’s trading book. Reported directly to Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke on the earnings and regulatory capital impact of the agreed upon approach.
Complex Municipal Finance Dispute
Analyzed the appropriateness of the design and pricing of a specialized municipal finance structure that included related bond remarketing, credit enhancement, and an interest rate swap. Assessed the foreseeability of economic issues that negatively impacted the structure. Provided deposition, submitted report, and testified in Federal Court.
Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proprietary Trading and Inside Information
In the context of a dispute regarding the fiduciary duties of a financial institution with respect to ERISA clients, assessed the institution’s investment recommendation process and controls. This included an assessment of the institution’s information walls and related processes, designed to prevent trading on material non-public information and inappropriate conflicts of interest. Report submitted and deposition provided. Judge granted motion for summary judgment for case portion, agreeing with report and deposition submitted.
Insurance Company Risk Management and Valuation
Evaluated the risk management and valuation processes applied by a top-10 U.S. insurance conglomerate to it various asset portfolios. This included an assessment of structured finance holdings (various ABS and MBS) as well as financial derivatives including interest rate swaps and credit default swaps. The assignment involved an assessment of the appropriateness of valuations and impairments assigned to various securities and derivatives during the financial crisis period. Prepared a report and presentation to the State Insurance Commissioner of Connecticut.
Hedge Fund Risk and Risk Management
As part of a confidential consulting matter, evaluated risk and risk management issues with respect to major international hedge fund
U.S. v. Bogucki

Expert on behalf of the defendant in criminal case where U.S. DOJ alleged front-running, market manipulation, and other illegal activity related to foreign exchange options trading. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Criminal Case No 3:18-cr-00021.

Fernandez et al. v. UBS AG et al.

Testifying expert for defendant’s counsel, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, in a securities class action lawsuit in connection with closed-end funds, including issues of class certification, investment suitability, and damages. United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Civil Action No 1:15-cv-02859. 

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Larry A. Goldstone, Clarence G. Simmons III, and Jane E. Starrett
Testifying expert for defendants’ counsel, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, in connection with securities impairment determinations made by Thornburg Mortgage, Inc. executives in the company’s 2007 10-K financial report. United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, Case No. 1:12-cv-00257-JB-LFG.
New Orleans City v. AMBAC Assurance Corporation, et al.
Testifying expert for defendants’ counsel, Vinson and Elkins, in connection with a municipal bond issuance and associated interest rate swap, remarketing agreement, bond insurance, and surety bond. United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana Case No. 2:08-cv-03949-KDE-SS.
Leprino Foods Company v. BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC
Testifying expert for respondent’s counsel, Bingham McCutchen LLP, in connection with investments in various auction-rate securities. FINRA Dispute Resolution Arbitration No. 11-02075.
Board of Trustees of the AFTRA Retirement Fund v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Testifying expert for respondent’s counsel, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP, in connection with a fiduciary client’s investment in structured investment vehicle (SIV) debt, and related bank information barriers, material non-public information rules, and potential conflicts of interest. United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Civil Action No. 09-00686.
Recent Outperformance of Passive Investment Funds Has Provided a Rationale for Some ERISA Retirement Investors to Cry Foul. Is There a Case for Active Management?
February 27, 2019
Published in Wolters Kluwer Dailies
Target Date Funds: Economic, Regulatory And Legal Trends
December 08, 2017
Published in Law360
Target Date Funds: Economic Regulatory, and Legal Trends
September 26, 2017
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.

In the first of a series of papers examining key economic, regulatory, and legal issues related to target date funds (TDFs), Brattle experts Chris Laursen, Ioannis Gkatzimas, and Branko Jovanovic provide an overview of TDFs, report on significant market trends, and summarize recent related litigation.

A 10% leverage ration does not justify waiving the Volcker rule
June 23, 2017
Published in
BSA and AML Enforcement Trends and D&O Liability
April 04, 2014
Published in the D&O Diary
The Proposed Volcker Rule Analysis and Panel Discussion
February 14, 2012
Presented at the PRMIA Meeting, New York, NY
Banking Entity Trading Under the Volcker Rule
Published on Advisor Perspectives
News & Events
November 28, 2018
Chris Laursen to Present at PRMIA Financial Services Regulatory Forum

Brattle Principal Chris Laursen will speak at the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) 2018 Financial Services Regulatory Forum, to be held November 28 in Washington, DC.

September 26, 2017
Brattle Experts Examine Target Date Funds in New Publication

In the first of a series of papers examining key economic, regulatory, and legal issues related to target date funds (TDFs), Brattle experts Chris Laursen, Ioannis Gkatzimas, and Branko Jovanovic provide an overview of TDFs, report on significant market trends, and summarize recent related litigation.

September 12, 2017
Brattle Principals Elaine Buckberg and Chris Laursen to Present on Core Principles for Financial Regulation

Speakers from The Brattle Group and Morrison & Foerster LLP will present during a seminar on “Core Principles for Financial Regulation,” on September 12, 2017 from 8:30 - 10:00 AM EST.

July 07, 2016
Chris Laursen Contributes to Defendants' Win in TMST Mortgage Case

In the recently decided case SEC v. Goldstone et al, Brattle Principal Chris Laursen submitted an expert report and testified in the jury trial held in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.

February 04, 2016
Financial Industry Expert Christopher Laursen Joins The Brattle Group

The Brattle Group announced today that financial industry expert Christopher Laursen has joined the firm’s Washington, DC office as a principal.